People in housing need 2021

15 December 2021

Understanding the scale and types of housing need across the country is essential for planning effective policy responses and informing the debate around the need for new homes. Our People in housing need report looks at the full extent of the housing crisis, including how different housing issues affect people across tenures and regions. This year we also look at how children across the country are affected by different housing problems.

Report summary

    • 8.5 million people in England have some form of unmet housing need.
    • For 4.2 million of these people (around 1.6 million households) social rented housing would be the most appropriate tenure to address that need.
    • This is around half a million more families than the 1.1 million households currently recorded on official waiting lists.
    • Two million children in England (1 in every 5) are living in overcrowded, unaffordable or unsuitable homes.
    • 1.3 million of these children are in need of social housing, as this is the only suitable and affordable type of home for their families.
    • Overcrowding is the largest problem nationally, affecting nearly 3.7 million people.

    We are calling for long term investment in social housing, to provide people with suitable homes they can afford, and to deliver on the government’s commitment to level up disadvantaged communities around the country. Housing associations are ready to work with the government to deliver these much needed social homes.

    You can read our full People in housing need report to understand the full scale of housing need across the country and how we arrived at these figures. The report goes into detail on the findings and explains the data sources and methodologies used in the research. Or read our summary for the key findings and to find out why building more new social housing could help address many of the issues identified for a large proportion of the people affected.